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Dec 8 2023

NATO logisticians train for deployment of rapid reaction forces to Baltic Sea region

SZCZECIN, Poland – On December 4-7, logisticians from Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) and Joint Logistics Support Group Brunssum (JLSG BS) conducted the tabletop exercise Griffin Force 23. The event served to test Reception, Staging and Onward Movement (RSOM) plans for NATO’s rapid reaction forces should they be required in an emergency in the Baltic States or Poland. At the same time, MNC NE passed responsibilities for RSOM to JLSG BS as part of assuming the role of a regionally aligned NATO Response Corps.

Held at the MNC NE Headquarters, the exercise provided a collaborative environment to create a common operational picture across stakeholders from the NATO chain of command regarding the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) Land deployment procedures for 2024. Among those participating were Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), Allied Land Command, NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC), the VJTF(L) 2024 framework nation – the United Kingdom as well as sending, transit and receiving nations, i.e. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Short of a full-scale execution, a tabletop exercise like this is the only way of finding disconnects. We have to be honest and forthright in our observations,

stated Lieutenant General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commander Multinational Corps Northeast, in his opening address. “I especially encourage the framework nation United Kingdom to fully exploit this opportunity.”

Griffin Force 23 brought to HQ MNC NE logisticians from across NATO © Karol Sito

Tabletop exercises are used to clarify roles and responsibilities and to identify additional mitigation and preparedness measures. Griffin Force challenged the participants by presenting “unresolved” issues that required further actions. In this way, those involved were able to produce a set of recommendations on how to conduct timely RSOM operations in the region. 

The VJTF deployment is a complex task. In a short time, several thousand troops and military equipment have to be deployed, received and moved forward to their final destinations. Consequently, the participants spent significant effort wargaming various scenarios and addressing challenges, especially those related to the Baltic Sea region.

“NATO is changing — based on the current situation and increasing threats around the world. Being NATO entities and headquarters responsible for the effective and efficient projection of force elements, we have to promptly react to increase the resilience of and support for our deployed troops,” said Brigadier General David Schnábel, Commander JLSG BS.

During Griffin Force 23, MNC NE relinquished responsibilities for RSOM to JLSG BS © Karol Sito

Importantly, Griffin Force marked the transition of MNC NE to a NATO Response Corps in the Baltic Sea region. By adopting this role, MNC NE’s principal focus is on combat readiness and tactical proficiency, while the RSOM process rests with JLSG BS, which attained its Full Operational Capability earlier this year. “As we concentrate on the hand-over take-over of the tasks from MNC NE, I need to ensure that our new responsibilities as the RSOM command are effectively prepared for,” Schnábel added. 

The professional and highly responsible approach from the MNC NE subject matter experts prior to our exchange is an excellent starting point for this significant task. I’m ready to meet this challenge in full.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

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Public Affairs Office
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin